Forgive Yourself…but don’t Forget!

“To err is human; to forgive divine.”

Religious or not, there is so much truth to this.  If you’re really paying attention, you have  probably noticed that your life has been chock full of mistakes. Most of them can be categorized as bad decisions and if you’re anything like me, you’ve spent countless hours beating yourself up and exhausting a ton of energy regretting those bad decisions.  That’s fine for a brief period of time because it is super important to acknowledge where YOU went wrong.  I emphasize “you”  because I have noticed that common behavior is to inadvertently try to find a way to place blame on someone or something else.  We’ve all done it!   If you’ve ever found yourself saying “It’s not my fault!”, there’s a 99% chance that it was (at least partially) your fault.  Instead of making excuses, make solutions.

It is painful and uncomfortable as hell to look at yourself in the figurative mirror and say,  “This is my responsibility.  I will own this.”  Stop obsessing about the “Why did this happen to me?” or  “It’s not my fault!” Take a step back and figure out exactly where you took a wrong turn.  Why did you make that decision that ended poorly?  Once you have honestly and thoroughly acknowledged where the actual misstep occurred, you’ve gotten to the root of the problem and you will be way more mindful of that behavior the next time around.  (There WILL be a next time.)  Doing this will set you up for one less failure or painful experience in the future.  It will also serve great purpose in your personal refinement.  That is what growth is all about… refinement!  I will be talking about that often.

Contrary to popular belief, I have made more mistakes than I can count.  Some of them have taken me a very long time to forgive myself for.  Some of them will stay in the back of my mind forever and I’m OK with that.  I have forgiven myself for every bad decision I have made but I refuse to forget!  The lessons I’ve learned from those mistakes are invaluable.  They have added incredible enhancement to my growth and I like to keep them on hand as reminders of where I’ve been and where I am going.

People tell me all of the time not to be so hard on myself.  I wholeheartedly disagree with that.  We should be hard on ourselves!   We should hold ourselves to a standard higher than anyone else ever possibly could.  It is called self awareness and once you can get through the initial discomfort of  that process, you will see an unbelievable jump in your growth, production and contribution.   I cannot express how important it is to be honest with yourself.  Do it.  TRUST ME!

Self awareness= Acknowledgement.  Acknowledgment=Acceptance.  Acceptance=Forgiveness.  Forgiveness=Peace.